Keeping busy on vacation isn't too hard when you're staying somewhere like Alabama's Gulf Coast. From the white sand beaches to the historic attractions, there are plenty of places for you and the whole family to explore. But what about the in-between time? You may have already mapped out which meals you'll enjoy out at a local restaurant, such as Tacky Jack's or the Original Oyster House, but there are still plenty of breakfasts and lunches, as well as downtime after sightseeing, that you'll need to plan out to make sure your fellow vacationers are happily entertained.

Here are some easy trip-planning tips to remember during your stay at Gulf Shores condos:

Create a family keepsake

Simple ways to make your Gulf Shores vacation even betterAfter just a day of your vacation, your kids may have collected a slew of memorabilia, such as scenic postcards, a map, beach trinkets or photos, and you'll likely find them scattered in every room of your Gulf Shores house. The problem is, you want the house to remain tidy. Tell your children that you can help them keep track of their new belongings with a special keepsake booklet, made with either a binder or key ring. If they have collected a handful of items that you can't punch holes into, stick with the binder and put every souvenir in its own laminated pocket. The key ring is good for small, paper-made items. Either one will help you stay organized and create a memorable keepsake for your family to remember your trip.

Stock up on groceries

You'll be thanking yourself endlessly if you follow this tip on the very first day of your trip: find the nearest grocery store and stock up. You can pack dry goods and bring them with you, but once you arrive in Gulf Shores, be sure to fill your fridge with deli meats, fruits, vegetables and cheeses, as well as condiments, bread and nutritious snacks like crackers and popcorn. On a rainy day when the family sticks close to their five-bedroom Gulf Shores house for an afternoon of relaxation, you can keep the kids' appetites satisfied with a tasty lunch spread thanks to your fully stocked kitchen. You'll not only make their tummies happy, but your wallet will be pleased as well - eating in at least a few times during your vacation is a great money-saver.

Give a lesson in the kitchen

Another fun idea for lazy afternoons after hours on the beach is teaching kids how to make a delicious snack or treat. When you're on a summer vacation, sometimes the most satisfying goodie is a juicy popsicle. Search the website for some tantalizing recipes for homemade popsicles, such as frozen raspberry yogurt pops. These satisfying (and healthy!) desserts can be fun to make with the kids, and are even more fun to eat! All you need is sugar, water, raspberries, plain, nonfat yogurt and lime juice to concoct these sweet treats. If you're worried about sticky hands and drips inside the Gulf Shores vacation rental, send the kids outside to the beach to slurp up their sweets.